The Elementary Environment

The elementary environment caters to the needs of a child who is in the second plane of development, the age of the children in this environment is between 6 to 12. Children at this stage are in a period of rapid intellectual growth as they develop the ability for rational thinking. Children want to know the how and why of things. His earlier experience and learnings from the primary give him a sound foundation for further exploration of knowledge in elementary. In elementary self-education is the key to learning. Through exploration and experimentation, they discover the quantities and facts of the world. Our teachers are specifically trained to provide and support children in this important endeavour through careful preparation of the environment which caters to their developmental needs for this age group.

All lessons are presented keeping in mind the principles of cosmic education laid down by Dr.Montessori, founder of the Montessori system of education. Through cosmic education children discover the history of the world and the human race and in this process begin to define their own place in the society they live in. They understand about the creation of the universe and our earth, Children are encouraged to ask questions. They pursue and research historical, scientific, artistic and cultural interests. Information is gained from a rich variety of literature, experiments, art projects, tapes, films and field trips.

During the elementary years children explore the academic world in increasing depth through the related disciplines of mathematics, reading, research methods, art, music, science, botany, Zoology, History, geography, physical education etc.

The Approach

Multiage class room and a spirit of co-operation rather than competition allows children to grow emotionally and intellectually at their own pace.

The Elementary program is comprised of sound child development practices with developmentally appropriate activities. Here the emphasis is on creating a balance among the intellectual, social, emotional and physical needs of a child.

The elementary program offers individualized instructions and evaluations.

Children are grouped in multi-age settings ages 5-6, 6-9, 9-12 to allow cognitive development without competition. Child’s evaluation is an ongoing process. The mixed age grouping which is a cornerstone of the Montessori method allows ample time for the teachers to address the development of the complete child within each developmental stage.

Parent Teacher conferences are done twice a year, during which detail progress of the child in each subject area, social and emotional growth of the child is discussed.

Cognition and Motion: Without movement there cannot be learning, movement is essential for cognition. Hence child is given freedom to choose his work place and activity of choice.

Choice: Learning and well being are improved if children have sense of control over their life, freedom of choice allows control of learning and children learn better.

Interest: If a child has interest in something they learn better and this positively boosts their confidence. They become more confident and happier learner.

Avoid Reward: Children do not expect reward when they work with interest. When we reward them children get motivated to work only when rewarded. Their motivation drops when rewards are withdrawn, but our aim is to allow them to work with self-motivation which will go a long way in life. Hence at Prakruthi we continuously look for ways to guide the child towards auto education.

Learning from and with peers: Children learn better when they are in a collaborated environment. Children learn from each other. The younger children learn from the older children through imitation. The older children have the opportunity to stand as leaders to guide the young ones.

Learning in context: Learning has to be meaningful, for example if you want the child to learn about insects, instead of just providing information we could take them for nature walks and allow them to observe, explore and bring back the learning into the classroom which makes it more meaningful and learning is richer and deeper.

Order in environment and mind: When we walk into a Montessori environment, there is order in the environment, all the areas are arranged in such a way that there a specific place for each material which is replaced in the same order after use. When children are encouraged to maintain order and respect in the environment, they indirectly gain order in their mind, which helps them process and learn better.